A collaboration with Elyce Semenec commissioned for the 2005 Trampoline Radiator Festival for New Technology Art, Nottingham, England

As globalization creates a more homogenous and corporatized landscape, is it possible to carve out a space of one’s own? How can we subvert dominant trajectories by allowing imagination to transform and reclaim an increasingly privatized landscape?

sub/merg/ency is a space created through the reflection of how we, as a public, locate, ground, connect and find support for ourselves within our communities and environments. In the physical space of sub/merg/ency perception is skewed. There is no horizon. Time and movement slow down. Sounds become indeterminate. Our sense of smell diminishes and memories triggered by the scent of a favorite meal or a familiar street begin to fade. In this state of disorientation, our usual behaviors and actions become subverted and we must rethink the ways we engage with our environment. In order to regain our “bearings” we must find ways to navigate the physical architectures of the real as well as the invisible topographies of the imaginary.

Through the use of narrative and a live internet stream, the performance connected two spaces, the subaqueous space of submergency and the physical space of the laboratory.

The laboratory located in Nottingham, UK, was open to the public and served as a testing ground for collectively inventing and constructing objects that would help orient the performer lost in the space of submergency. Participants created objects based on themes relevant to the lost performers sense of disorientation and dislocation: shortcuts and wormholes in the section on “time and distance”; scent and memory triggering devices in “grounding and buoyancy” and site lines and communal structures in “nodes and networks”.

During the 4-day performance, remote participants uploaded images from their own communities to the sub/merg/ency website. The images created a global portrait of the site lines and markers we use to locate, ground and connect ourselves in an endlessly shifting landscape.